UK retail traffic up 11% on ‘Super Saturday’

Footfall in UK retail stores increased by almost 11 per cent in the final weekend before Christmas compared to last year, claims a new report.

Despite the low temperatures and strike action, data from RetailNext said that footfall had increased by almost 4 per cent compared with the previous Saturday.

The last Saturday before Christmas – dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ by the industry – attracts shoppers looking for last minute purchases and has historically charted some of the biggest footfall of the year.

In terms of regions, the highest amount of store traffic was in the South East which includes London. Traffic here was up 10 per cent over last year. The Midlands was the lowest performing region, but still saw an increase of 5 per cent compared to last year.

Clothing and shoe stores saw an increase of around 22 per cent compared to last year, with consumers increasing their spending on electronics by around 2 per cent compared with the same time last year.

Commenting on the news Joe Shasteen, global manager advanced analytics, said: “Early indications were that the severe weather warnings and travel advisories to limit rail trips’ had disrupted store traffic for Super Saturday and the weekend by extension.“

He added: “But the traditional ‘panic buying’ trend seen over Super Saturday was strong this year, as consumers seemingly hoped to avoid potential delays to deliveries caused by the postal strike. These positive traffic trends are aligned with the positive sales forecasts for the period making it a bumper weekend for UK retailers”

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